According to Jeffrey Rosen, Louis D. Brandeis was “the Jewish Jefferson,” the greatest critic of what he called “the curse of bigness,” in business and government, since the author of the Declaration of Independence. Published to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of his Supreme Court confirmation on June 1, 1916, Louis D. Brandeis: American Prophet argues that Brandeis was the most farseeing constitutional philosopher of the twentieth century. In addition to writing the most famous article on the right to privacy, he also wrote the most important Supreme Court opinions about free speech, freedom from government surveillance, and freedom of thought and opinion. And as the leader of the American Zionist movement, he convinced Woodrow Wilson and the British government to recognize a Jewish homeland in Palestine. Combining narrative biography with a passionate argument for why Brandeis matters today, Rosen explores what Brandeis, the Jeffersonian prophet, can teach us about historic and contemporary questions involving the Constitution, monopoly, corporate and federal power, technology, privacy, free speech, and Zionism.
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A full-scale portrait of the early twentieth-century Supreme Court justice seeks to distinguish his personal life from his achievements as a reformer and jurist, offering additional insight into his role in the development of pro bono legal services, the creations of the Federal Reserve Act and other key legislations, and his contributions to American-Jewish affairs as a practicing Zionist.
The great monopoly in this country is money. So long as that exists, our old variety and individual energy of development are out of the question. A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit.
Louis D. Brandeis (1856-1941) played a role in almost every important social and economic movement during his long life: trade unionism, trust busting, progressivism, woman suffrage, scientific management, expansion of civil liberties, hours, wages, and unemployment legislation, Wilson's New Freedom, Roosevelt's New Deal. He invented savings bank life insurance and the preferential union shop, became known as the "People's Attorney," and altered American jurisprudence as a lawyer and Supreme Court judge. Brandeis led American Zionism from 1914 through 1921 and again from 1930 until his death. He earned over two million dollars practicing law between 1878 and 1916 and used his wealth to foster public causes. He was adviser to leaders from Robert La Follette to Frances Perkins, William McAdoo to Franklin Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson to Harry Truman. This lively account of Brandeis's life and legacy, based on ten years of research in sources not available to previous biographers, reveals much that is new and gives fuller context to personal and historical events. The most significant revelations have to do with his intellectual development. That Brandeis opposed political and economic "bigness" and excessive concentration of wealth is well known. What was not known prior to Strum's research is how far Brandeis carried his beliefs, becoming committed to the goals of worker participation--the sharing of profits and decision making by workers in "manageable"-sized firms. So it happened that the man who was sometimes dismissed as an outmoded horse-and-buggy liberal championed a cause too radical even for the New Deal braintrusters who were quick to follow his advice in other areas Strum charts Brandeis's development as a kind of industrial-era Jeffersonian deeply influenced by the classical ideals of Periclean Athens. She shows that this was the source not only of his vision of a democracy based on a human-scaled polis, but also of his sudden emergence, in his late fifties, as the leading American Zionist: he had come to regard Palestine as the locus of a new Athens. And later, on the Supreme Court, this Athenian conception of human potential took justice Brandeis beyond even Justice Holmes in the determined use of judicial power to protect civil liberties and democracy in an industrialized society.
[Brandeis, Louis D.]. Brandeis on Zionism: A Collection of Addresses and Statements by Louis D. Brandeis With a Foreword by Mr. Justice Felix Frankfurter. Washington, D.C.: Zionist Organization of America, . viii, 156 pp. Reprinted 1999 by The Lawbook Exchange, Ltd. LCCN 98-49331. ISBN 1-886363-60-9. Cloth. $65. * A collection of thirty-two of Brandeis' addresses and statements convey the evolution of his views regarding Zionism. Brandeis [1856-1941], a Boston lawyer known for his liberal stand on issues of social justice, was the first Jew to serve on the Supreme Court (1916-1939). The collection includes "True Americanism," "A Call to the Educated Jew," and "Democracy Means Responsibility." In his Foreword Frankfurter calls Brandeis "the moral symbol of Zionism throughout the world."
Jewish Justices of the Supreme Court examines the lives, legal careers, and legacies of the eight Jews who have served or who currently serve as justices of the U.S. Supreme Court: Louis D. Brandeis, Benjamin Cardozo, Felix Frankfurter, Arthur Goldberg, Abe Fortas, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer, and Elena Kagan. David Dalin discusses the relationship that these Jewish justices have had with the presidents who appointed them, and given the judges' Jewish background, investigates the antisemitism some of the justices encountered in their ascent within the legal profession before their appointment, as well as the role that antisemitism played in the attendant political debates and Senate confirmation battles. Other topics and themes include the changing role of Jews within the American legal profession and the views and judicial opinions of each of the justices on freedom of speech, freedom of religion, the death penalty, the right to privacy, gender equality, and the rights of criminal defendants, among other issues.
"There is properly no history, only biography," Emerson remarked, and in this ingenious book Thomas McGraw unfolds the history of four powerful men: Charles Francis Adams, Louis D. Brandeis, James M. Landis, and Alfred E. Kahn. The absorbing stories he tells make this a book that will appeal across a wide spectrum of academic disciplines and to all readers interested in history, biography, and Americana.
During his long career of public service, first as a reform-minded lawyer and later as an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, Louis Dembitz Brandeis (1856-1941) had a profound influence upon American life in this century. In the words of Max Lerner: "Years from now, when historians can look back and put our time into perspective, they will say that one of its towering figures--more truly great than generals and diplomats, business giants and labor giants, bigger than most of our presidents--was a man called Brandeis." Other respected authorities have asserted that, except for John Marshall and Oliver Wendell Holmes, no jurist has exerted so broad and enduring influence upon American jurisprudence as Brandeis. Now assembled for the first time and planned for publication in a five-volume series are the Brandeis letters. In Vol. 1, (1870-1907): Urban Reformer, are letters written by Brandeis during his first years as a lawyer and social activist. They illuminate, in a day to day way, seemingly small areas of social action which are rarely documented and are so often lost in historical haze. They show what liberal reformers were thinking and doing in the Progressive Era and reveal the techniques, tactics, and strategies they employed in working within the system to find solutions to the human and urban problems of their day. In the process, they focus on many problems of contemporary concern and furnish insights into ways of organizing citizen pressure to effect social change.